Various Error Messages Displayed and Slow Windows Performance When Virtual Memory Is Enabled

This article was previously published under Q239094
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
If this article does not describe the error message that you are receiving, view the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to view more articles that describe error messages:
315854 Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center
If this article does not describe the invalid page fault error message that you are receiving, view the following Microsoft Web site to view more articles that describe invalid page fault error messages in Internet Explorer:
When you click the Performance tab of the System Properties tool, you may receive the following message:
Performance may be improved by enabling virtual memory.
If you examine the Virtual Memory option, virtual memory is enabled.

In addition, Windows may perform poorly and when you start programs, random error messages similar to the following examples may be displayed:
  • Control Panel and My Computer icons may change to the default Windows icon.Internet Explorer cannot open the site http://c:\windows\web\controlp.httThere was an internal error and one of the windows you were using will be closed. It is recommended that you save your work, close all programs, and then restart your computer.There is not enough free memory to run this program. Quit one or more programs, and then try again.This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.
If you click the Details button, any of the following error messages may be displayed:
  • IEXPLORE caused an invalid page fault in module Mshtml.dll at 015f:70c449bb.IEXPLORE caused a stack fault in module Shdocvw.dll at 0167:77c8ebe0.IEXPLORE caused a stack fault in module Shlwapi.dll at 0167:70bd3114.
This behavior can occur if the Win386.swp file located in the Windows folder has its file attributes set to read only. Windows uses the Win386.swp file to create virtual memory.
To resolve this issue:
  1. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type win386.swp.
  3. In the Look in box, click Drive C, and then click Find Now.
  4. Right-click the Win386.swp file, click Properties, and then click to clear the Read-only check box.
  5. Click Apply, and then click Close.
More information
Virtual memory is designed to be dynamic. If the swap file (Win386.swp) is set to read only, Windows uses the amount of memory that is allocated. When Windows attempts to expand to compensate for programs that exceed the physical memory, system error messages are generated.

For additional information about virtual memory, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
128327 How Windows 95/98 Manages Virtual Memory
controlp dll win386 mshtml

Article ID: 239094 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 00:14:00 - Revision: 3.0

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